Roy Cady is in a rough spot: diagnosed with terminal cancer, running with a hit out on him and somehow the new adoptive gangster-father-figure to a not-so-innocent 18-year-old girl, Rocky, and her three-year-old sister. They’re in (where else), New Orleans, headed for Galveston. Hell of a setup for a road trip. This journey has you sort of falling in love with these misfits. Alone, any of them would be pathetic, if not repulsive, but together they’re an odd makeshift family. Dysfunctional, for sure. When survival is a key factor, emotional connections seem utterly necessary. They land in Galveston, at a cheap motel full of characters–just the kind of timeless scene you imagine exists in the Texas Gulf. The more they become immersed in the scene, the more the impossibility of leaving one another sets in. You might as well pour your own rocks glass full of Johnny Walker for this. You might as well get in on this scene. Desperate, risky, a place where everyone is the bad-guy–where everyone has nothing to lose. This works so well because it’s not a trick: not a riddle. It’s real and building–slowly, like a hurricane, like cancer.
New York Times Sunday Book Review
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